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Arkansas Homeschool Laws

Arkansas Department of Education Rules Governing Home School

Arkansas Homeschooling Laws and Requirements

Requirements to homeschool in Arkansas. Arkansas Homeschooling Laws. Ways to homeschool legally within Arkansas homeschooling laws.

This is not intended to be legal advice about homeschooling or home education and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library or on the Arkansas Department of Education homeschool section of their website.

Compulsory attendance – Children between 5 and 17 years of age on or before August 1 of that school year. If your child is 5 years old on or before August 1st of the listing school year, you must either register them as a kindergartner OR fill out a kindergarten waiver form. If you do the latter, you may wait until the next year to register them as a kindergartner, and from then on they will be an older child than what is typical for each grade they’re in….OR you can register them as a first grader (thereby skipping kindergarten). Completion of kindergarten is not a requirement under Arkansas law.

Teacher certification required? – No.

Standardized achievement test is no longer required.

Required number of hours per day per year – None

On April 2, 2007, Governor Mike Beebe signed into law House Bill 2394, changing the definition of a “home school” in Arkansas. Prior law defined this term as “a school primarily conducted by parents or legal guardians for their own children.” The new definition for a home school is “a school provided by a parent or legal guardian for his or her own child.” ~ Kay Brooks

Updated

ARKANSAS CODE ANNOTATED

§ 6-15-501 through § 6-15-509

Home School Law

Current through the 2015 Regular Session and First Extraordinary Session

1.00 REGULATORY AUTHORITY
2.00 PURPOSE
3.00 DEFINITIONS
4.00 GENERAL
5.00 NOTICE OF INTENT
6.00 TESTING REQUIRED – ACHIEVEMENT TESTS
7.00 TEST RESULTS
8.00 TRANSFER OF STUDENTS
9.00 STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
10.00 DRIVER’s PERMIT/LICENSE

This is not intended to be legal advice about homeschooling or home education and is distributed for information purposes only. Check for updates at your public library or on the Arkansas Department of Education homeschool section of their website.

Compulsory attendance – Children between 5 and 17 years of age on or before August 1 of that school year. If your child is 5 years old on or before August 1st of the listing school year, you must either register them as a kindergartner OR fill out a kindergarten waiver form. If you do the latter, you may wait until the next year to register them as a kindergartner, and from then on they will be an older child than what is typical for each grade they’re in….OR you can register them as a first grader (thereby skipping kindergarten). Completion of kindergarten is not a requirement under Arkansas law.

Teacher certification required? – No.

Standardized achievement testing no longer required.

Required number of hours per day per year – None

Arkansas Code Annotated

§ 6-15-501 through § 6-15-509

Home School Law

 Current through the 2015 Regular Session and First Extraordinary Session

6-15-501. Definition.

As used in this subchapter “home school” means a school provided by a parent or legal guardian for his or her own children.

6-15-502. Rules, regulations, and procedures for monitoring and enforcing provisions.

(a) The provisions of § 6-18-201(a) shall be self-executing, and the State Board of Education shall have no authority to promulgate rules, regulations, or guidelines for the enforcement or administration thereof.

(b) The board is empowered to make such reasonable rules and regulations required for the proper administration of this subchapter which are not inconsistent with the intent of this subchapter.

6-15-503. Prerequisites to homeschooling. Updated 2017

(a)

(1) Parents or  legal guardians desiring to provide a home school for their children must shall give written notice to the superintendent of their local school district of their intent to provide a home school for their children and sign a waiver acknowledging that the State of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their children during the time that the parents choose to homeschool:

(A) At the beginning of each school year but no later than August 15; or

(B) By December 15 for parents who decide to start homeschooling at the beginning of the spring semester; or

(C) Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, fourteen (14) calendar days prior to withdrawing the children from the local school district and at the beginning of each school year thereafter. The superintendent or the local school board may waive the fourteen day waiting period.

(2) Within thirty (30) calendar days of establishing residency within the district, parents or guardians moving into the school district during the school year must give written notice to the superintendent of their local school district of their intent to provide a home school for their children and sign a waiver acknowledging that the State of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their children during the time that the parents choose to homeschool agree that the parent or legal guardian is responsible for the education of his or her children during the time the parent or legal guardian provides a homeschool for the children:

(A) At the beginning of each school year but no later than August 15; or

(B)(i) By December 15 for parents who decide to start homeschooling at the beginning of the spring semester; or

(C)(i) Subject to the provisions of subsection (d) of this section, fourteen (14) calendar days prior to withdrawing the children from the local school district and at the beginning of each school year thereafter.

(ii) The superintendent or the local school district board of directors may waive the fourteen-day waiting period (2) Within thirty (30) calendar days of establishing residency within the school district, parents or legal guardians moving into the school district during the school year must shall give written notice to the superintendent of their local school district of their intent to provide a home school for their children and sign a waiver acknowledging that the State of Arkansas is not liable for the education of their children during the time that the parents choose to homeschool agree that the parent or legal guardian is responsible for the education of his or her children during the time the parent or legal guardian provides a homeschool for the children.

(3) The notice must shall include:

(A) The name, sex, date of birth, grade level, and the name and address of the school last attended, if any, of each student involved;

(B) The location mailing address and telephone number of the home school;

(C) The basic core curriculum to be offered d The name of the parent or legal guardian providing the home school;

(D) (i)The proposed schedule of instruction A statement of plans to participate during the school year in public school interscholastic activities under § 6-15-509; and

(E) The qualifications of the parent-teacher.

                        (ii) A failure to provide the information under subdivision (a)(3)(D)(i) of this section does not preclude the student from participating in public school interscholastic activities under § 6-15-509;

(E) A statement of plans to seek a high school equivalency diploma during the current school year;
(F)(i) A statement of plans to seek a driver’s license during the current school year.
(ii) If a parent or legal guardian includes the information under subdivision (a)(3)(F)(i) of this section, the notice shall include a notarized signature of the parent or legal guardian; and
(G) A signature of the parent or legal guardian.

(4) Parents or guardians shall deliver written notice in person to the superintendent of their local school district the first time such notice is given. A written notice under this subsection may be given:

              (A) Electronically, including without limitation by email;
(B) By mail; or  (C) In person.

(b) This The information provided to the superintendent of the student’s local school district under subsection (a) of this section:

(1) Is confidential and not subject to the Freedom of Information Act of 1967, § 25-19-101 et seq.; and

(2) may May be used only for statistical and record keeping purposes and test administration as required by law.

(c) Each local school district shall report the statistical data required by this section to the Department of Education each year.

(d)

(1) No public school student shall be eligible for enrollment in a home school if the student is currently under disciplinary action for violation of any written school policy, including, but not limited to, excessive unexcused absences.

(2) Public school students who are under disciplinary action by the local school district shall be eligible for enrollment in a home school if:

(A) The superintendent or local school board chooses to allow the child to enroll in a home school;

(B) The disciplinary action against the student has been completed or the school semester has ended, whichever occurs first; or

(C) The student has been expelled.

   (e) The department and the student’s local school district shall not create additional criteria or require additional information for a student to attend a homeschool beyond that provided in this section.

6-15-504. Enrollment or re-enrollment in local schools. 

Updated 2017

SECTION 1. Arkansas Code § 6-15-504 is amended to read as follows: 6-15-504. Enrollment or re-enrollment in local schools.

(a)(1) Each local school district may assess any home-schooled student who enrolls or reenrolls in the school district in order to determine proper educational placement.
2) A local school district that chooses to assess a homeschooled student who enrolls or reenrolls in the school district may use the same assessment that the school district uses when a student who has attended another public school or private school enrolls or reenrolls.

A local public school district:

(1) Shall afford a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in a public school the same rights and privileges enjoyed by other public school students; and

(2) Shall not deny a home-schooled student who enrolls or reenrolls in a public school any of the following solely on the basis of having attended a homeschool:(a)

(A) Award of course credits earned in the home school;

(B) Placement in the proper grade level and promotion to the next grade level;

(C) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, a diploma or graduation;

(D) Participation in any academic or extracurricular activity;

(E) Membership in school-sponsored clubs, associations, or organizations; or

(F) Scholarships.

(b) To enroll or re-enroll in a public school, a home-schooled student shall submit to the public school:

 (1) A transcript listing all courses taken and semester grades from the home school; and

(2) A portfolio of indicators of the home-schooled student’s academic progress, including without limitation:
(A) Curricula used in the home school;
(B) Tests taken and lessons completed by the home-schooled student; and

         (C) Other indicators of the home-schooled student’s academic progress.
(c) A public school shall place a home-schooled student who enrolls or re-enrolls in the public school at a grade level and academic course level  equivalent to or higher than the home-schooled student’s grade level and  academic course level in the home school:
(1) As indicated by the home-schooled student’s:

(A) Transcript listing all courses taken and semester grades from the home school;

(B) Score of at least the thirtieth percentile on a nationally recognized norm-referenced assessment taken in the past year; and

(C) Portfolio of indicators of the home-schooled student’s academic progress, including without limitation:
(i) Curricula used in the home school;
(ii) Tests taken and lessons completed by the homeschooled student; and
(iii) Other indicators of the home-schooled student’s academic progress; or
(2) By mutual agreement between the public school and the homeschooled student’s parent or legal guardian.
(d) If the student is unable to provide a nationally recognized norm-referenced test score the school shall:
(1) Assess the student using a nationally recognized norm-referenced assessment; or
(2) Waive the nationally recognized norm-referenced assessment requirement.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (f) of this section, if the homeschooled student does not meet the requirements of subsection (c) of this section, the public school shall have sole authority to determine the homeschooled student’s grade placement and course credits based on the same methods used when a student who attended another public or private school enrolls or reenrolls in the public school.
(f) A public school may waive all requirements under subsections (b)and (c) of this section and enroll the student by mutual agreement with the parent or guardian.
(g) A home-schooled student who enrolls or reenrolls re-enrolls in a local public school district shall attend classes for at least nine (9) months immediately before graduation before the student can become eligible to receive a high school diploma graduate from the public school district with a diploma.

6-15-507. Ineligibility of home schools for local, state, or federal funds.

(a)

(1) Home schools authorized by this subchapter are not entitled to local, state, or federal funds allocated to a public school district.

(2) For purposes of this section, eligible children with disabilities identified under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, 20 U.S.C. § 1400 et seq., in home school settings shall be given the same consideration afforded to students in private school settings for special education services as provided for in that act.

(b) School districts providing services to home school students shall be eligible for local, state, or federal funds allocated or approved for such services.

6-15-508. Home schooling prohibited if a sex offender resides in the home.

(a) No child may be home schooled if any person residing in the home with the child is required to register under the Sex and Child Offender Registration Act of 1997, § 12-12-901 et seq.

(b) Upon petition to the sentencing court from the child’s parent or guardian, the sentencing court may enter a written order specifically waiving the restriction in subsection (a) of this section.

(c) This section shall not apply if the child to be home schooled is the person registered under the Sex and Child Offender Registration Act of 1997, § 12-12-901 et seq.

Other homeschool updates in 2017. 

Help Understanding How to Comply

Start Home Schooling
From The Education Alliance

More Arkansas Homeschooling Resources

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